So, our house has been attacked (and continues to be attacked) by the No Monster. The No Monster used to be named Edie, but she has been replaced recently.
I want Edie back.
And yes, I'm familiar with the phrase "terrible twos", and yes, that's probably all this is. But JAYSUS. It's no fun living with a time bomb that goes off at random moments for what feels like no reason. On Tuesday night it was the fact that Jeff needed to take Edie's shoes off for bed. Result? 30 minutes of screaming the word "NO" over and over. And over. She ended up getting put to bed in her clothes without tooth brushing. The next morning I considered just taking her back to daycare, clearly wearing the same clothes she'd worn the day before (only MUCH dirtier), but then wondered if Jen would appreciate that particular brand of humor. The day before, it was because the pig nose from her dress up trunk kept slipping off her face. When I asked if she wanted help, she answered, "No." Then it seemed like just saying the word "no" triggered a Pavlovian meltdown and quickly slipped into what has become the pattern these days - repeatedly screaming slash wailing slash yelling the word "no" until my ear drums bleed. After a while it sounds more like "naaaahh" but I know what she means. And she means NO.
'No what?' you might ask yourself. "No, please leave my sandals on so I can sleep in them?" "No, I want to put my pig nose on myself?" Well, we may never know how the sentence ends because she never EVER gets past the word NO. My child, who can whip out sentences like, "He's jumping rope in the grass and his Mom is watching." can't get past the word "no".
It's starting to be that I spend my whole day preventatively flinching for the word "no" to be flung at me.
I finally suckered into buying one of Super Nanny's books because I NEEDS GUIDANCE. Anyways, I haven't gotten very far, but I will say that it's helping me to take a broader look at our schedule, family dynamics and just generally get a bigger picture of what could be going on. End result for today? I'm thinking maybe Edie just requires more sleep right now. And more strictly scheduled meal times. I've been tracking her days - good and bad moments - and finding that almost all of these epic meltdowns are occurring on empty stomachs or right before bed (one or two also happened over the long weekend pre-nap, but both times we'd tried to push her nap to later and suffered the resulting "no" attack). SO. For a week, we are going to try instituting an earlier dinner for Edie (and I will be sad to see family dinner time go, but Jeff just can't get home in time for a 5:30 dinner) and an earlier bedtime - from 8pm to 7:30pm. I couldn't get my act together in time for a 5:30 dinner tonight, but I did manage to put her down to bed at 7:30 and I was shocked by how easily it all went. Of course the middle of the night could be a different story and I suppose it's possible she'll wake up at 5am for the day, but I'm hopeful that this could curb some of the worst attacks we've been suffering this last week.